There is no record in the history of Mathraki that the island was inhabited in the ancient or Medieval times. The long distance from the Greek mainland and the piracy, which throbbed the Greek seas till the mid 19th century, prevented people from residing in Mathraki. In fact, the three islands of the Diapontia complex (Mathraki, Othoni, and Ereikoussa) were not inhabited until two centuries ago and were used only as middle stops in long sea voyages.
It is recorded that the first of three islands to be inhabited was Othoni. People from Corfu and from the mainland coasts of Parga started to live in Othoni to get away from the Ottoman rule. At the end of the 19th century, the inhabitants of Othoni went to the close islands of Mathraki and Ereikoussa to cultivate the vast groves of olive trees. Along time, people started to live permanently in Mathraki and built houses there.
This is how Mathraki eventually got inhabited. Today, it is still an isolated island whose inhabitants are limited to the basic comforts. Electricity came in Mathraki in the 1970s and most people go to the neighboring Corfu for their everyday needs, even for a doctor. The permanent residents, who are about 100 in number, occupy with fishing and olive tree cultivation.